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Andrew Abercromby

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Andrew Abercromby
Abercromby in front of Lunar Excursion Vehicle
Andrew Frank Abercromby[1]

(1980-05-12) 12 May 1980 (age 44)
Alma mater
Occupation(s)Scientist and biomedical engineer
Known forAquanaut

Dr. Andrew Frank Jorgensen Abercromby (born 12 May 1980)[2][3] is a scientist and biomedical engineer who designs and tests spacesuit systems and exercise countermeasures for future exploration of the Solar System. He is employed by NASA as Lead of the Human Physiology, Performance, Protection & Operations (H-3PO) Laboratory at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.[4] As an aquanaut, Abercromby served as a member of the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations 14 (NEEMO 14) crew. Abercromby has more than fifteen years of experience working in the Human Health and Performance (HH&P) and Engineering Directorates at the Johnson Space Center.[2] He is married with two daughters.[5]


Growing up in a fishing village in Scotland, Abercromby played football, rugby, and cricket. He was not interested in space exploration until the age of 17. While attending Buckhaven High School in Fife, Scotland, he was offered the chance to fly to the United States and join an International Space School at NASA's Johnson Space Center. Abercromby had never been on an aircraft before.[2][5][6] His host while in Houston was Chris Hadfield, an astronaut from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). After spending two weeks at NASA, Abercromby knew what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.[2][5][6]

Because no aerospace degree was available in Scotland,[5] after leaving high school, Abercromby studied mechanical engineering at the University of Edinburgh, while trying to figure out a way to become involved in space exploration, and perhaps fly in space himself one day. After much study, part-time jobs, and some pilot training with the reserves of the Royal Air Force,[clarification needed] Abercromby was employed by NASA.[2] Abercromby received an award as best graduate student from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IME).[5] He received an MEng in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Edinburgh in 2002.[7] In 2006, Abercromby received a PhD in Kinesiology from the University of Houston. He was honoured as a Distinguished Alumnus by the University's Department of Health and Human Performance (HHP) in 2007.[8]

NASA career[edit]

Abercromby and Aquarius habitat technician Nate Bender performing communication checks during NEEMO 14 mission.

As a biomedical engineer and deputy project manager for the Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV) project, Abercromby was part of a team designing and testing a new type of human space exploration vehicle. Abercromby was also a member of the Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) Physiology, Systems and Performance project, which helped develop new spacesuits that will be safer, more efficient, and easier to use. Abercromby has also worked in NASA's Neurosciences Laboratory, Anthropometry and Biomechanics Facility, and Flight Mechanics Laboratory.[2][6]

Abercromby has worked on NASA analogue missions in the Arizona desert and on the Haughton–Mars Project in the High Arctic.[2][9] He has also worked aboard reduced-gravity research aircraft, and on the Pavilion Lake Research Project, investigating a remote lake in British Columbia, Canada.[2][8][10] In May 2010, Abercromby became an aquanaut through his participation in the joint NASA-NOAA, NEEMO 14 (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations) project, an exploration research mission held in Aquarius, the world's only undersea research laboratory.[4][11] The NEEMO 14 mission was commanded by Chris Hadfield, Abercromby's host on his first visit to Houston thirteen years earlier.[5] Prior to the NEEMO 14 mission, Abercromby was quoted as saying that he "expects to learn a lot about himself by living and working as part of an underwater team for two weeks. He expects it to be a lot of work but plans on enjoying the unique experience."[2] Abercromby celebrated his 30th birthday during the NEEMO 14 mission.[3][5]

Abercromby was a member of NASA's Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) 2010 Mission Support Team. He was responsible for ensuring that all experimental procedures were followed, and that all of the data was collected.[6] Abercromby was a member of the support team for the NEEMO 15 mission in October 2011.[12] During the NEEMO 16 mission in June 2012, Abercromby served as an In-Water Test Director, and piloted a DeepWorker submersible.[13][14] In 2013, Abercromby participated as a field engineer and research diver in the Tawani International Antarctic Expedition (part of the Russian Antarctic Expedition), led by Dr. Dale Anderson.[citation needed] The five person expedition involved underwater exploration of perennially ice-covered lakes, Lake Obersee and Lake Untersee, using scuba diving, remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs), and other sampling techniques.

Abercromby is now Lead of the Human Physiology, Performance, Protection & Operations (H-3PO) Laboratory within the Biomedical Research and Environmental Sciences Division at Johnson Space Center.[citation needed]


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  1. ^ "Statutory registers - Births". ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 10 August 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "NASA – Dr. Andrew F.J. Abercromby". NASA.gov. NASA. 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  3. ^ a b Chappell, Steve (13 May 2010). "CSA – NEEMO 14 Crew Journal". ASC-CSA.GC.ca. Canadian Space Agency. Archived from the original on 30 August 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  4. ^ a b "NASA – NEEMO 14". NASA.gov. NASA. 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Young, Noel (2010). "NASA Aquanauts Someday May Fix Oil Leaks". EditInternational.com. Edit International. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  6. ^ a b c d "NASA – Meet the 2010 Desert RATS Mission Support Team". NASA.gov. NASA. 2010. Archived from the original on 12 July 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  7. ^ "Andrew Abercromby". PavilionLake.com. Pavilion Lake Research Project. 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  8. ^ a b "HHP News Events". HHP.UH.edu. The University of Houston. 2010. Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  9. ^ "Haughton-Mars Project: Status Reports Archives". MarsOnEarth.org. Mars Institute. 2008. Archived from the original on 11 June 2008. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  10. ^ "Pavilion Lake Research Project". PavilionLake.com. Pavilion Lake Research Project. 2011. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  11. ^ Alexander, Aaron (2010). "Archive for the 'NEEMO 14' Mission". NURC.net. NURC. Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
  12. ^ "NASA – Meet the NEEMO 15 Support Team". NASA.gov. NASA. 3 October 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  13. ^ "NEEMO 16 Mission Days 10 & 11 – Status Report" (PDF). NASA.gov. The NEEMO Mission Management and Topside Support Team, NASA. 21 June 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
  14. ^ Stevenin, Hervé (19 June 2012). "The NEEMO 16 Aquanauts meet the Men in Black". Flickr.com. Yahoo! Inc. Retrieved 13 July 2012.

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